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Victims of child abuse and exploitation need special protection - Legal Practitioner

By Regina Benneh, GNA

Abesim (B/R), Aug. 15, GNA - Mr. Clarke Noyoru, an Accra-based legal practitioner on Wednesday stated the need for special protection for children being abused, exploited and suffering all forms of violence in the country.

He said children who were victims of crime should have access to justice without the fear of public exposure, humiliation and retaliation in the process of investigations and trial, adding, significantly such victims must be treated in a caring and sensitive manner to prevent any further harm. 

Mr. Noyoru made the call at a day’s training workshop organised by the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) with support from the European Union for 20 selected paralegals at Abesim near Sunyani.

The LRC is an Accra-based Ghanaian non-governmental organisation which promotes human rights issues within communities to ensure social progress based on the proper and the right application of the law in the justice delivery system for good governance.

Under the theme “The Role of Paralegals in Protecting the Rights of Children”, the workshop was designed to equip participants with the necessary skills to be able to contribute effectively to address both criminal and civil cases involving children to protect their interests in their respective communities.

It was also to build their capacities to be able to navigate the child and family welfare juvenile system by promoting the well-being of children, prevent violence, exploitation and abuse towards the protection of the rights of children to promote juvenile justice delivery system in the country. 

The participants consisted of teachers, staff of Social Welfare Department, media and security personnel, staff of Children and Women Departments of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection from the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.

Mr Noyoru suggested mediation as the preferable method of trial in cases involving children to prevent them from going through the intimidation process of a formal trial and to also protect the interest of the child.

He therefore stated that community justice process and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism were often the most realistic and efficient means of ensuring children access to justice.

Mr Noyoru added that ADR in cases involving children should be encouraged at all levels since it facilitated the outcome for families and children in achieving timely results.

He observed that small percentage of juvenile cases were being prosecuted through the formal justice system, saying that indicated the country prosecuted cases domestically through the family justice systems.

The ADR is the appropriate method of dealing with child justice issues, Mr. Noyoru emphasized.

He said community-based response to engage the family and community to provide supervision, guidance and rehabilitative support should be encouraged to reduce the unnecessary delays in dealing with cases of child abuse, violence and protection.

Custodial placement would only be necessary if juvenile offenders posed a threat to society, Mr. Noyoru said, and stressed that depriving children of their liberties by taking them away from their families and communities conflicted with the law which must be the last option in the juvenile justice system.

GNA


Source: GNA Story (https://ghananewsagency.org/social/victims-of-child-abuse-and-exploitation-need-special-protection-legal-practitioner--154659)
Published: 2019-08-15 11:31:30
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